Dutch broadcaster admits bad choices led to failed Eurovision; Reforms made
AVROTROS acknowledged that the broadcaster has fallen short regarding the Dutch participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool. In hindsight, broadcasting director Eric van Stade would have approached the preparation and supervision of the Dutch entry, Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper, in a different way.
"There should have been more control over the entire process," he says to ANP after an extensive performance evaluation within AVROTROS. "The main lesson is that the distance between the selection committee and the final act must be reduced," says Van Stade.
The Dutch participation in the Eurovision song contest ended in failure this year when Nicolai and Cooper failed to qualify for the final. The run-up to Liverpool was also turbulent when the duo sang out of tune during two preparatory performances in Madrid and Amsterdam.
Nicolai and Cooper turned out to have little experience with major live performances and the song in question, Burning Daylight, was actually too difficult for them. Just before the Eurovision song contest started, the duo therefore decided to change the pitch of the song. There was also criticism of the way in which AVROTROS internally chooses the Dutch entry by means of a selection committee. Some argued for a return of the National Song Contest to decide who represents the Netherlands.
To prevent a repeat of this year, AVROTROS has recruited a new Head of Delegation. Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen, who has been active as Head of Contest for the past three years, will be ultimately responsible for the creation of the act. "With the appointment of Twan, the process for the Dutch entry is monitored and supervised from start to finish," says Van Stade. "We see the Eurovision Song Contest as one project from this year onwards. From the opening of the registration to the landing at Schiphol, with a clear vision and one project leader."
In addition to the appointment of Van de Nieuwenhuijzen, the selection committee will also be overhauled. Van Stade will make way for Van de Nieuwenhuijzen and it was previously announced that singer and commentator, Jan Smit, is also leaving. "The committee will be further expanded with new representatives, outside AVROTROS, but within the music industry."
Earlier Wednesday it was announced that registration for the upcoming Eurovision song contest, which will be held in Malmö next year, has been opened.
Reporting by ANP